Cinema

Senna

Formula One racing driver Ayrton Senna enjoyed an adrenaline-fuelled, extraordinary career before his tragic death at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix. So it’s fitting that the man often regarded as the greatest racer who ever lived gets a documentary to match. Senna, directed by Asif Kapadia, is unquestionably one of the finest films of 2011 but that’s mere hyperbole, and only serves to ...

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The Lincoln Lawyer

The Lincoln Lawyer offers plenty of tasty legal jargon but ultimately delivers little. By scattering its supporting cast into the wind and leaving lead star Matthew McConaughey with nothing to do other than reprise his act from A Time to Kill, it remains a film where the ingredients are in place but the pressure cooker’s been turned off. In front of a cinematic jury, there simply isn’t ...

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The Eagle

For a film set in Roman Britain and filled to the brim with more swords, sandals, soldiers, tribes and betrayals than one can shake a toga at, The Eagle is staggeringly boring. What’s even more shocking is that director Kevin McDonald, responsible for such edgy, gripping fare as Touching the Void and The Last King of Scotland, completely fails to invest the film with his usual energy and sop ...

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The Adjustment Bureau

Skipping over heavy philosophical issues with an appreciably light and frothy touch, The Adjustment Bureau stakes a claim to being the most accessible adaptation of a Phillip K. Dick story to date. Forget the posters blaring ‘Bourne Meets Inception!’ It’s nothing like either of those blockbusters, despite starring Matt Damon from the former and grappling with territory vaguely si ...

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Battle: Los Angeles

Judging by how much the camera wobbles around and how much debris and metal flies all over the place in Battle Los Angeles, you’d think the film was attempting to set a new benchmark for sci-fi actioners. It doesn’t of course - it’s complete rubbish. But it’s enjoyably visceral, noisy rubbish nonetheless, launching the viewer into war-zone hell and never letting up. &nbs ...

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Unknown

The great irony of Unknown is that, despite its title, it’s hardly an unknown quantity. In fact, it’ll be surprising if a less remarkable thriller is released this year. That’s not to say it’s a terrible film. On the contrary, the first half is riveting and builds a sense of quietly clammy menace. However, as is often the case with these high-concept genre pieces, once ever ...

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True Grit

True Grit. A remake or not a remake? That is the question.   Less controversial are the undeniably superior filmmaking skills of the Coen Brothers, skills which underpin this cracking new adaptation of Charles Portis’ novel. When compared to Henry Hathaway’s 1969 John Wayne starrer, it’s arguably a much more accomplished and effective work, restoring the narrative tan ...

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Made in Dagenham

The poster for Made In Dagenham is almost insufferably twee: Happy Go Lucky's Sally Hawkins in perky 60s bob and get up, complete with even perkier smile. It's almost a come hither invite to a glib and trite celebration of British cinema at its worst: colourful yet superficial and vacuous. It's therefore a delight to report that Made In Dagenham is made of far tougher, more substantial stuff ...

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The Town

Where on earth did this Ben Affleck come from? Fresh from Oscar success with Good Will Hunting, buddy and co-writer Matt Damon seemed to sprint ahead; Affleck meanwhile langoured in material ranging from expensive (Daredevil) to abysmal (Gigli) to expensive and abysmal (Pearl Harbour). Then all of a sudden he exploded back on the camera, or rather behind it, with his incisive, gripping thr ...

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